Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Enhancing The City’s digital presence

Check out calgary.ca to see key improvements to navigation and the look and feel based on your feedback. 

With increasing citizen expectations for online access to City Information, services and initiatives, The City of Calgary is continually looking at how we can improve customer satisfaction and usability for calgary.ca.

Following the launch of the search-based calgary.ca, we began monitoring citizen satisfaction results and user feedback. Based on this data, we made minor adjustments to the site and improved content for search engine optimization.

In July 2012, we launched a satisfaction tool on calgary.ca in addition to the “Didn’t find what you’re looking for” feedback form. This serves in providing us with detailed data as to how you are searching our site, what search terms you are using and how satisfied you are with the experience.

“By giving citizens a means to provide us with feedback, we can make changes to the site based on the specific needs of the user,” says Team Lead, Web & Digital Services Paul Taylor. “Essentially, the enhancements we've implemented are in direct response to our user’s feedback.”

Your feedback has told us that the most important factors in increasing satisfaction are improved search functionality and an intuitive navigation structure on calgary.ca. Recommendations included a global navigation that would compliment our search in addition to enhancing our search functionality. 

What we’ve done
In mid-September we launched query improvements to the search engine that included: 
  • Additional filtering capabilities (business unit, topic, department, content type, content source).
  • Search and spelling suggest logic to increase credibility and performance of suggestions.
  • Ability to sort by date or relevancy.

The enhancements to calgary.ca include:
  • A “Browse by Topic” page to compliment the search functionality. The high-level categories were determined in a working session with digital teams, calgary.ca metrics and citizen feedback. The topics will be iterative based on metrics analysis moving forward.
    • Categories with links to the top five pages.
    • Provides the user with links to their most recently visited pages.

  • Changes to the user interface driven by data, feedback, the need for new functionality and responsive design.
    • Simplified the site header.
    • Increased the search bar size and length and made it top floating so it’s always visible to the user.
    • Added a new footer structure.
    • Redesigned the search results page.
    • Updated the news ticker.
Next steps
This doesn’t mean we stop here. With mobile device use exploding, The City is making it possible for you to access calgary.ca from anywhere, anytime.

“Our next phase will involve improving our digital presence by implementing responsive design techniques to ensure our content is optimized for any device,” adds Taylor.

Check out the enhancements on calgary.ca and let us know what you think. We’re listening. We’ll continue to make improvements to our digital presence based on citizen satisfaction results and user feedback. 

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